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Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W4Y20) : UN SG warns of “dark side of technology”; UN experts call for investigation on Jeff Bezos’ phone hacking; WEF on Dangers of Digital innovation; Microsoft data breach; Fines for EU privacy breaches reach 114 million….

Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W4Y20) : UN SG warns of “dark side of technology”; UN experts call for investigation on Jeff Bezos’ phone hacking; WEF on Dangers of Digital innovation; Microsoft data breach; Fines for EU privacy breaches reach 114 million….




UN backing of controversial cybercrime treaty raises suspicions

« Certain UN members may have been ‘bought off’ by proponents of a controversial UN resolution on cybercrime in exchange for support on the plans, an official from the Council of Europe who deals with cybersecurity has told EURACTIV…”

GOP rep introduces bill to block intelligence sharing with countries using Huawei for 5G

“Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at barring the United States from sharing intelligence with any countries that permit Huawei to operate their 5G networks…”

UK to grant Huawei limited role in UK 5G roll out

“Huawei should be granted a limited role in the UK’s 5G network roll-out. That is the recommendation made to senior officials following government departmental meetings on Wednesday…”

Top US cybersecurity official warns of threat posed by China’s Huawei

“Robert Strayer, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, granted an interview to FRANCE 24 in which he discussed the threat posed by equipment from Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, being used in future 5G mobile networks…”

New U.S. law requires government to report risks of overseas activities by ex-spies

“Troubled that former American spies are plying their trade for foreign governments, Congress has passed new legislation requiring U.S. spy agencies to provide an annual assessment detailing the risks such conduct poses for national security….”


France and the US have agreed on a truce regarding a dispute over a French tax on American tech companies.

« Both President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump agreed to extend negotiations to the end of the year, thereby postponing Washington’s threat of sanctions against Paris…”

UK sticks to digital tax in April

« UK Chancellor Sajid Javid has told the Davos meeting he will not back down over the introduction of a new sales tax on large US tech firms. The US threatened it would consider retaliatory tariffs on UK car makers if the measure goes ahead…”

Singapore, New Zealand, and Chile inch towards digital economy pact

« Having wrapped up negotiations for the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, which encompasses various components including digital identities, artificial intelligence, and digital trade, the three nations will now work to formally sign the agreement into force…”

Boris Johnson warns Trump both their countries will suffer if US starts trade war over tech tax

« Boris Johnson has warned Donald Trump that both their countries will suffer if the US starts a trade war in the increasingly bitter dispute over the UK’s “tech tax”…”

Europeans to pass national digital tax by end 2020 if no OECD deal

“Despite the US threats of imposing new tariffs, France, Italy, Spain and the UK said on Wednesday (22 January) they would move ahead with their national digital tax if there is no agreement at the OECD level by the end of this year…”

IDC launches Future of Intelligence framework to provide context into the digital economy

“Over the past five years, International Data Corporation (IDC) has been documenting the rise of the digital economy and the digital transformation that enterprises must undergo to compete and succeed…”

Prague: Trade war due to digital tax?

“According to’s partner, Hospodářské noviny, the US has threatened the Czech Republic with tariffs on Czech goods in the event that parliament adopts a 7% digital tax on Google, Facebook and other giants…” 


US NIST Releases Framework for Privacy Risk Management

« NIST published a preliminary draft of the Privacy Framework in September 2019, when it requested public feedback. The agency had initially hoped to release version 1.0 by the end of 2019, but it was officially announced only on January 16…”

Microsoft Leaves 250M Customer Service Records Open to the Web

« Misconfigured Microsoft cloud databases containing 14 years of customer support logs exposed 250 million records to the open internet for 25 days. The account info dates back as far as 2005 and is as recent as December 2019 — and exposes Microsoft customers to phishing and tech scams…”

Fines for European privacy breaches reach 114 million euros: report

European regulators have imposed 114 million euros ($126 million) in fines for data breaches since tougher privacy rules came into force in mid-2018, with approaches varying widely from country to country.

Supreme Court declines to hear Facebook facial recognition case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a high-profile court battle over whether users can sue Facebook for using facial recognition technology on their photos without proper consent.

India likely to force Facebook, WhatsApp to identify the originator of messages

« New Delhi is inching closer to recommending regulations that would require social media companies and instant messaging app providers to help law enforcement agencies identify users who have posted content — or sent messages — it deems questionable, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch…”


The dark side of technology among ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future, according to UN SG

“The start of the New Year finds the world facing four looming threats to human progress: surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday…” 

“New technologies are creating new digital divides”: UNDESA World Social Report 2020

“The World Social Report 2020 examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity.

World Economic Forum Global Risks Report Highlights Dangers of Digital innovation

“For the first time ever, the top five most likely global risks enumerated in the annual Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum (PDF) are all environmental: extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and human made environmental disasters. In terms of impact, the top five risks are climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity loss, extreme weather, and water crisis…”


Telegram CEO Pavel Durov calls iCloud a surveillance tool.

“The tech giant Apple dropped its end-to-end encryption plans for iCloud nearly two years ago after having a conflict with the US regulators. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had complained that such a feature would harm investigators. Pavel Durov also criticized apps that use iCloud to store data….”

Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained – sources

“Apple Inc (AAPL.O) dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters….”


At Davos, UN Broadband Commission advocates for financing inclusive meaningful connectivity for sustainable impact

“The ITU UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development examined new financing models that would help accelerate ‘meaningful universal connectivity’ on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland….” 


UNICEF Steps Up Blockchain Investments for Children

“Momentum has been steadily building behind efforts to use blockchain technology to help vulnerable children, families and communities. And now the UNICEF Innovation Fund and Ethereum Classic Labs are teaming up to take these efforts to the next level…”


Internet shutdowns could cost ASEAN dearly

“The ASEAN Post recently ran a story on the world’s longest internet shutdown in the northern part of Rakhine State in Myanmar and the concept of digital rights as a legitimate human right…”

US: House of Lords introduces private member’s bill to resurrect age verification plan

“A member of the House of Lords has introduced a private member’s bill in a bid to force the government to resurrect the age verification plan for pornographic websites.

The bill was introduced in a first reading yesterday as the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill by Baroness Howe of Idlicote…”


Fighting Words: Journalism Under Assault in Central and Eastern Europe

“In this report we identify the pressures currently being applied to independent journalists working in central and eastern Europe. We show that the autonomy and independence of the media across much of Europe is under threat from politicians, who launch verbal attacks on journalists, but also from other journalists, who discredit and smear colleagues working for rival publications…”

New platform launches to support investigative journalists in south-eastern Europe

“Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has created a new tool – BIRD – to provide resources and legal assistance to journalists in the region while reporting on and documenting attacks on the media…”

Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes After Embarrassing Officials in Brazil

« Journalist firebrand Glenn Greenwald has been charged with cybercrimes by federal prosecutors in Brazil, according to a new report from the New York Times. Greenwald recently helped expose corruption in the Brazilian government through a series of stories at the Intercept that included leaked messages highly embarrassing for senior government officials…”

Brussels steps up disinformation fight, Facebook warns of free expression

“Facebook has warned over freedom of expression as the European Union considers measures to stop disinformation campaigns across online platforms.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP for Global Affairs warned that in the online world, “the scope of what we deem to be acceptable speech has narrowed over recent years, leading to potential erosions in freedom of expression…”.


The Dubai Financial Services Authority supports National Cybersecurity Strategy by Launching a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform

“The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) launched the first financial regulator-led Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform (Platform) in the region in collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team for the UAE (aeCERT), the Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg (CIRCL) and the Open Source Threat Intelligence and Sharing Platform Project (MISP)….” 

India Plans to Mandate Cybersecurity Measures for Power Grids

“India’s electricity grid operators will have to install firewalls and other measures used by companies to avert an attack on their information technology systems and check rising hacking incidents of power networks across the world….”

German government will pay Microsoft €800K for Windows 7 extended security updates

“If Windows 7 finally reached end of extended support last week, organizations will still be able to pay Microsoft to get extended security updates for PCs that can’t be immediately updated to a newer version of Windows. That’s exactly what the German federal government will do this year for 33,000 PCs still running Windows 7 (via ZDNet)…”


Jeff Bezos’ phone was reportedly hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is believed to have been hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018, according to a new bombshell report from The Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner…”

US Cybersecurity Firm Founder Admits Funding DDoS

« An American businessman who co-founded a cybersecurity company has admitted to hiring criminals to carry out cyber-attacks against others.

Tucker Preston, of Macon, Georgia, confessed to having paid threat actors to launch a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks between December 2015 and February 2016…” 

Austria’s Foreign Ministry Hit by Cyber-Attack

“The Austrian government has been hit by a cyber-attack that could be the work of a rival foreign power. 

The attack, which was leveled against the country’s Foreign Ministry, began late on Saturday night. A spokesperson for the ministry described the incident as “serious” and said that experts had warned it could continue for several days…”

Jeff Bezos hack: Saudi Arabia calls claim ‘absurd’

« Saudi Arabia has denied that its crown prince was responsible for hacking Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone.

A message from a phone number used by the prince has been implicated in the data breach, according to reports…”

UN experts call for investigation into allegations that Saudi Crown Prince involved in hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone

GENEVA (22 January 2020) – « UN human rights experts are gravely concerned by information they have received suggesting that, in contravention of fundamental international human rights standards, a WhatsApp account belonging to the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2018 deployed digital spyware enabling surveillance of The Washington Post owner and Amazon CEO, Jeffery Bezos…”

UN experts demand US inquiry into Jeff Bezos Saudi hacking claims

“UN experts are demanding an immediate investigation by the US into evidence indicating that Jeff Bezos, the billionaire owner of the Washington Post, was hacked with spyware deployed in a WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince,…” Mohammed bin Salman.

Here Is the Technical Report Suggesting Saudi Arabia’s Prince Hacked Jeff Bezos’ Phone

« Motherboard has obtained the report made by FTI Consulting into how Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman allegedly hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s phone….”

Cyber wars between Greece and Turkey after Turkish hackers claim responsibility for attacks on Greek government sites

“Turkish hackers last week claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on Greek government sites, including those of the Greek National Intelligence Services (EYP), Greek Parliament, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Greek Ministry of Finance among others.

Hacker leaks passwords for more than 500,000 servers, routers, and IoT devices

“A hacker has published this week a massive list of Telnet credentials for more than 515,000 servers, home routers, and IoT (Internet of Things) “smart” devices…”

Mitsubishi Electric data likely compromised in massive cyberattack blamed on Chinese group

« Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Monday it was hit by a massive cyberattack and that information on government agencies and business partners may have been compromised, with a Chinese group believed behind the attack…”

JhoneRAT: Cloud based python RAT targeting Middle Eastern countries

“Today, Cisco Talos is unveiling the details of a new RAT we have identified we’re calling “JhoneRAT.” This new RAT is dropped to the victims via malicious Microsoft Office documents. The dropper, along with the Python RAT, attempts to gather information on the victim’s machine and then uses multiple cloud services: Google Drive, Twitter, ImgBB and Google Forms…”


UK watchdog sets out ‘age appropriate’ design code for online services to keep kids’ privacy safe

« The UK’s data protection watchdog has today published a set of design standards for Internet services which are intended to help protect the privacy and safety of children online…”

German Parents Want Further Online Protection for Children

“The majority of German parents believe that their children and teens should have further online protection from web content, a new survey showed…”


African internet slowdown continues after undersea cables break

“Internet users across more than a dozen sub-Saharan African nations experienced slow service after two undersea cables to the continent’s western coast were damaged this week…”


German proposal to control links to news stories: headlines, 3s of video, 128 pixel thumbnails

« One of the two very controversial proposals in last year’s EU Copyright Directive fight was the “link tax,” which would require licenses for links to news-sites that contained even a few consecutive words from the article or headline — links and excerpts that would otherwise be considered fair dealing under EU law…”


Artificial intelligence: EU must ensure a fair and safe use for consumers

« Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved on Thursday a resolution addressing several challenges arising from the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) technologies…”


Dealing with electronic waste in developing countries

« From landlines to mobile phones, typewriters to computers, pocket digital cameras to mobile phone with cameras, countries such as Tanzania have jumped few steps ahead of digitalization compared to other developing nations…”


IGF 2020 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting

IGF 2020 Call For Validation of Thematic Tracks

« Based on community input received during the open mic session in Berlin, the IGF 2019 Taking ‎Stock Process and Call for Issues that went out in December 2019, and discussion during the First IGF 2020 open consultations and face-to-face MAG meeting, the MAG agreed that the IGF ‎‎2020 programme should again be structured along main thematic tracks as in 2019 cycle…”


ICANN announcement


IETF Administration LLC 2020 Budget

The IETF Administration LLC has finalised its 2020 budget following a community consultation.

STIR into Action

Providers of voice over IP in the United States will be required to implement the IETF’s Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) protocol as a result of recently enacted legislation to address some of the root causes of illegal robocalling on the telephone network.?


The Internet Society – Building a Bigger, Stronger Internet

“Rinalia Abdul Rahim, SVP for Strategy & Implementation at ISOC, explains their vision and initiatives to improve security and access to the Internet…”

New Internet Security Principles Developed with World Economic Forum to Help Protect up to 1 Billion Users

“Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the critical community to protect us against cybersecurity threats and scale impact…”

ISPs Should Strongly Consider MANRS to Fight Cybercrime: World Economic Forum Report

“A World Economic Forum (WEF) report released today recommends that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should strongly consider joining the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative to improve the security of the Internet’s global routing system…”

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1 Comment

  1. Atef Saad Gerges Soliman

    I am Atef , I am engineer graduated of ain shames university
    I am president of Gatef organization


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